10 Dos and Don’ts When Blowing the Whistle on Your Own Company

By Mikal E. Belicove|For Forbes Magazine website|December 18, 2012

Late last year, Michael Woodford shocked the business world as CEO of a multinational conglomerate by blowing the whistle on his own company — Japan’s Olympus Corporation. Within two weeks of being appointed chief executive officer at Olympus, Woodford was fired when he continued a personal inquiry regarding $1.7 billion in questionable mergers and acquisitions.

Michael Woodford’s book about the Olympus Scandal

What began with a vague e-mail resulted in Woodford uncovering a scandal involving top executives of the international reprography and optics corporation. His whistleblowing resulted in admissions by the company that members of its Board of Directors were responsible for concealing multi-billion dollar losses from stockholders. The scandal also devalued the company’s stock by 75 percent.

In his just-released book called Exposure: Inside the Olympus Scandal, Woodford details his whistleblowing experience, which included a dramatic firing in a boardroom coup and rumors of his company’s involvement with the Japanese mafia. A 30-year Olympus employee who began his career as a medical equipment salesman in 1981, Woodford describes how he risked his career to uncover…

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